John Adams

by Kelsey from Roselle Park

There is no such thing as a good war or a bad peace.

My hero is John Adams, the second president of the United States of America. Before the American Revolution, he was a farmer and a lawyer. His hardest case came when he was defending the British soldiers of the Boston Massacre. Believing the soldiers were provoked, he chose to defend them. People who criticized him publicly for taking the case congratulated him privately on winning this case for liberty.

Even though he defended British soldiers in that instance, he fought for America's independence from Great Britain. It was John Adams who convinced Thomas Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence, and Adams was one of the first to sign it. Most of the ideas in the Declaration of Independence were ideas which John Adams had repeatedly expressed. During the first Continental Congress, Adams was the one who nominated George Washington to be commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. Adams was the first U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands and first U.S. minister to Britain. He served as vice president under George Washington and as president of the U.S. Senate.

When he took office as president in 1779, John Adams faced a new set of difficulties in running a brand-new country. One of his major diplomatic victories involved preventing the U.S. from going to war. Critics called him a coward when, instead of declaring war on France, he started peaceful trade with them. John Adams once said, "There is no such thing as a good war and a bad peace."

Adams married Abigail Smith, and had many sons and daughters. One, John Quincy Adams, grew up to be a fearless and outspoken lawyer and eventually became the nation's sixth president.

I like John Adams because he was honest, true, strong, smart and didn't back down when it came to saying or doing something he believed in. He was always ready to speak out for liberty and offer his talents to anyone in trouble. He is a true hero.

Page created on 9/21/2011 1:50:09 PM

Last edited 9/21/2011 1:50:09 PM

Related Links

White House biography - Read about John Adams' life
John Adams' Inaugural Address
John Adams Papers
Medical and Health History of John Adams - See what sicknesses John Adams suffered from throughout his life
The John Adams Library - Housed at the Boston Public Library, contains Adams' personal collection of more than 3,500 volumes in eight languages, many of which are extensively annotated by Adams.

Extra Info

Primary sources for students of history and government: If you are doing research for a paper on United States history, the National Archives and Records Administration website is a good one to visit. It contains a plethora of documents and archives for students and teachers.

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